Three U.S. senators, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Maine on Thursday will announce a $20 million 3D printing manufacturing partnership that will help the forest products industry, officials said Wednesday.
The announcement is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday in Washington, D.C. You can watch it here.
The three U.S. senators joining ORNL and the University of Maine at the announcement will be Susan Collins, a Maine Republican; Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican; and Angus King, a Maine Independent.
They will announce the launch of a large-scale bio-based additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, program. 3D printing prints items a layer at a time.
“The new partnership—which will harness Oak Ridge’s leadership in additive manufacturing and UMaine’s expertise with bio-based composites—will advance efforts to 3D print with wood, creating a new market for Maine’s forest products industry,” the press release said.
“Senators Collins and King have been active in encouraging this type of collaboration between Maine’s forest products industry and leading researchers: in 2016, the senators called on the U.S. Department of Commerce to establish the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT) that would work across agencies and sectors to create strategies for job growth and economic development in Maine’s rural communities. The work of the EDAT led directly to this partnership between UMaine and ORNL,” the release said.
The $20 million effort is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. It aims to strengthen regional manufacturing by connecting university–industry clusters with the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL, the press release said. ORNL’s MDF is in Hardin Valley.
Alexander, the chair of the Senate’s Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, and Collins, a member of the subcommittee, worked to secure funding for this initiative in the fiscal year 2019 Energy and Water bill, the press release said.
WHERE: Dirksen 430. The event will be broadcast live on Collins’ Facebook page here.
WHEN: Thursday, May 2, from 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
- U.S. Senator Susan Collins
- U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander
- U.S. Senator Angus King
- Daniel Simmons, assistant secretary, DOE
- Mohammad Khaleel, associate laboratory director, ORNL
- Jeffrey Hecker, provost, UMaine
- Habib Dagher, executive director, Advanced Structures and Composites Center
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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